HTSA’s Fall Conference: a forum for collaboration
The Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA) opened its annual Fall Conference in Chicago Wednesday with Bob Hana, its managing director, proclaiming that the event was “packed with nothing but collaboration.”
With 45 vendors and 92 percent of membership represented here, the focus on Day One was a combination of multiple one-on-one member/vendor meetings interspersed with 10 member/vendor breakout sessions addressing topics ranging from streaming media, to reaching builders/designers and architects, to the ins and outs of luxury selling.
“The rate of change in this business is crazy now,” observed Hana in his general session address, adding, “to me, that spells opportunity, and we have to decide how to position that to clients.”
Hana also alluded to the success of the group’s inaugural Summer Tech Forum, held in June, which brought together about 50 project managers, tech engineers, and designers for networking without the presence of management-level executives. He told Dealerscope that the conversations included success anecdote-sharing, discussions about how to utilize staff and manage labor more effectively, and talk of ways to build better, more robust networks. “We’ll ‘anniversary’ this program again next year,” he said.
This convention was also the place to hear updates on the progress of the five-month-old HTSN alliance forged between HTSA and the Nationwide Marketing Group and what it affords both entities. Chief benefits now being realized by HTSA, Hana said, include the availability to HTSA membership of Nationwide’s video production resources, an expansion of financial options through Synchrony Financial, and access to online training modules through Nationwide’s MemberNet portal.
A portable video studio was set up on premises at this convention’s venue, the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, and made available for members to record customized messages and on-camera interviews to append to the generic video shown at the group’s Spring meeting. “We’re in a scratch-sniff-feel-sniff-listen-and-touch business,” averred Hana, “and the majority of our marketing materials have been in 2D and print. That’s not how the younger generation is shopping. We have to get better at it as an industry.” He said camera crews would also be at next month’s CEDIA EXPO to film customized pieces by vendors, and that they would be welcome in Nationwide’s Atlanta-based PrimeMedia studios to record messages about their brands.